Icy Paradice at Aotea Square

Paradice Skate, Aotea Square by Mr Dewhurst

Paradice Skate have set up a rink in the city!

Tucked in neatly between Selwyn Muru's Waharoa and the Aotea centre steps, it's open until August. Ok, it's not quite Central Park, New York but it's definitely an interesting attraction to town. My kids had a ball. Check their details out here for sculpture-making, snow canon, ice hockey, curling and figure skating times.


More from the WRC

We had a great time in the weekend visiting the Viaduct Events Centre to check out the rally cars as they came in each evening. Those that can, drive in muddy and bashed up, bits of bodywork missing, and bits of vegetation sticking out here and there while some arrive on trailers. 

I find the service as much fun to watch as the racing (a bonus being that they stand still almost long enough for me to draw them), each car allowed a 45 minute service before being locked up for the evening. In that time we saw complete front panels replaced, smashed windscreens and shock absorbers replaced and on the Ketomaa Fiesta a complete gearbox removed, and a new one installed. All done under the watchful eyes of hundreds of spectators and a scrutineer who checks and notes down the tags on each replacement part.

If only it was that quick and easy to service the Honda!


Rally mania hits Auckland!

Now you're starting to wonder if I'm an absolute petrol head right? Well, you're probably right and the World Rally Championship only comes down the this way every 2 years or so, so why not check it out?

While most of the racing stages are set in picturesque countryside up north and around Raglan, the event is actually based at the Viaduct Events Centre in central Auckland. Check out the website for times, but you can catch the cars as they head in and out each day, get right up close to the mechanics as they work flat out to get crashed cars back in the race. There are even several stages in the Auckland Domain on Sunday, the last day of the event, so you can see some of the action without even venturing 'over the Bombay Hills'.

I captured the Mini Cooper of Dani Sordo (ProDrive - the same team that got an Aston Martin on the podium at Le Mans in the weekend) at lunchtime while the mechanics were hard at work...


MOTAT free in June!

As part of Volunteer Awareness Week, MOTAT is opened for free throughout June. There is still a week or so left if you haven't been in lately. Make sure you check out the excellent new hanger at MOTAT 2. I got carried away drawing some old cars...


More Auckland for Ackland

Urban Sketchers is holding an exhibition at the Ackland Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina next month as a fundraiser. I thought contributing a little bit of Auckland would go down well in Ackland.

Another Pub

Another one on a boozy theme, this one is The Albion Hotel on Hobson Street in town. I've wanted to do this place for a while now, it's such a classic old pub (1873) but looks kind of precarious stuck out on the corner without a neighbour - it almost looks like it's going to tumble into the street. I've accentuated this with some screwy perspective and a definite lean!

I suspect the original neighbour was another elegant old Victorian gone the way of the wrecking ball. Does anyone know what used to exist next door before it became a vacant lot?

By the way, this is another sketch destined for the Urban Sketchers fundraiser exhibition at the Ackland Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina starting the 16th of July. Make sure you check it out if you happen to be in Raleigh next month. (note: that's Ackland not Auckland!)


Watching the gee gees, Turf Bar, Mt Maunganui

A glorious day on the Mount beach today, clear, crisp and cold (the day started with a frost) so it's a surprise to find so many in the pub!

A very focussed crowd were engrossed in Race 4 from Eagle Farm (Brisbane, Australia). Number 8, Lights of Heaven a New Zealand horse came in first ahead of Scenic Shot, also NZ, and Fibrilation from the USA in 3rd.